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Our route:

  • Danube bend

    07.10.02 - 08.10.02:
  • Budapest

  • Tokaj

    10.10.02 - 18.10.02:
  • Budapest

    19.10.02 - 21.10.02:
  • Szentendre
  • Matra mountains
  • Matrafüred

    22.10.02 -23.10.02:
  • Eger

    24.10.02 - 25.05.02:
  • Bükk mountains
  • Miskolc tapolca

  • Szilvasvarad

  • Hortobagy

  • Debrecen

    29.10.02 - 30.10.02:
  • Hajduszoboszlo

  •   Hungary
    On this page, we (will) describe our experiences in Hungary. Apart from the travelogue for this country you will also find a number of links to useful sites, ranging from general information to embassy homepages.

    Written by: Dorrit

    Budapest - Tokaj - Budapest: 06/10/2002 - 18/10/2002

    Danube The first week in Hungary we would spend with my parents, they had rented a summer house near the Danube Bend for this purpose. We had a lot of catching up to do and showed loads of pictures.
    We spent the first few days sightseeing Budapest, rambled through the city's streets and alleys, enjoyed the great view from the hills of Buda on Pest, the Danube shore and the houses of parliament in Westminster style. Every now and then we had a look at the inside of a church, e.g. the Matthias church where Franz-Josef and Sisi were crowned.
    Budapest is loaded with lovely "Konditoreien", offering delicious coffee and cakes in splendid surroundings: velvet curtains, enormous chandeliers, gilded door- and window posts, rich stucco and silk wallpaper decorated with French lilies. You feel as if you are in a palace instead of a coffee house.

    Gellért bath Besides, there are loads of thermal baths in the same baroque style, looking like churches filled with water rather than a swimming pool. We went to the most famous one, the Gellért bath, which bath is surrounded by Greek pillars and a gallery with little wrought iron gates. This bath featured a very strict bath attendant who made sure you swam your rounds in the right direction and were wearing a bath cap on your head. But who cares if you can be in such a lovely place as that!

    My dad definitely wanted to visit Tokaj - a famous wine area in the east of the country, some 300 km east of Budapest - so we spent nearly a whole day in the car getting there and back. Tokaj was not very lively off season, but the wine was good and in the wine cellars you could taste all kinds of Tokaj. The wine was taken out of the barrels with a long glass pipe which had a sort of "belly" in the middle. The wine merchant sucked the wine in the glass pipe until the belly of the glass was full of wine and then let it run in the bottle. Good for your immune system..

    After one week we said goodbye to my parents, we would stay in the bungalow for another two days and work on the Poland and Slovakia reports for the website.

    Bridge of Freedom in Budapest Because we hadn't had enough of Budapest - there were a couple of things we still wanted to see - we parked the van on a guarded parking place in the centre and used it as camping site for the rest of the week. In the evening we went to the international film festival with Edgar, a Hungarian from Cluj-Napoca in Romania, and afterwards had a couple of beers until the bars closed.

    The rest of the week was spent visiting the excellent national museum, the market halls, all kinds of beautiful buildings in art nouveau and other styles and of course having lots of coffees and cakes in various coffee houses. It is hard to get bored in a city like this!
    To conclude our visit of Budapest we had a last dive in the great neo-baroque thermal bath / palace Széchenyi-fürdo, featuring a large outdoor swimming pool "on" the inner courtyard. It was quite something else to swim there, surrounded at all sides by neo-baroque palace walls… At the sides of the pool chessboards were placed and everywhere you could see groups of old men playing check, in the pool! The bath was just being renovated and that was necessary too: in the eldest part of the bath the roof was dark green from the moist, you couldn't even see that it had originally been a white roof..

    After 12 days we finally managed to leave this city and moved on to Szentendre, just north of Budapest in the Danube Bend. A lovely little town with many narrow cobblestone alleys, little shops and 18th century churches. I can really recommend it as a day trip from Budapest!

    Eger: 19/10/2002 - - 27/10/2002

    market in Budapest After spending two weeks in a city we badly needed some nature and thus spent two days walking in the Matra mountains. Beautiful autumn colours, we are travelling south at the same pace as autumn is, so we can still walk in the autumn forest. In between we had to seal the corners of our roof with silicon kit, as the condensation is starting to cause black spots on the wood. It is our own fault: we shouldn't breathe so much.

    Eger is the second Hungarian city we visit. A lovely town in 18th and 19th century style, with cosy squares and streets, an impressive castle looking down on the town centre from a hill and the most northern minaret in Europe, a relict from the Turkish occupation. On the 23rd of October we attended the memorial service of the Hungarian revolt of 1956, that started on this day. We were quite impressed by a single ex-Soviet soldier who came all the way from Russia to lay flowers at the monument and by the fact that many of the people attending were crying, after so many years!

    In the "valley of beautiful women" just outside town we visited the wine cellars in the face of the mountain and filled ourselves up with "Eger bull's blood", a strong red wine. As expected, the evening became quite a success after a couple of glasses… Before leaving Eger, we booked a flight from Athens to Amsterdam for Christmas, a birthday gift from our parents.

    Szechenyi bridge In Miskolc-tapolca we found a very cool thermal bath, in a cave in the mountain. We were swimming right between fabulous rock and stalactite formations. How bizar!

    After a fantastic drive through the Buekk mountains we arrived at the Lippizaner-stud farms in Szilvasvarad. Here we visited a horse auction and afterwards walked through the stables to get a closer look at these famous animals. To get rid of the smell of horses that hung around us, we had a nice walk through the forest nearby. It had an interesting cave where traces of prehistoric life were found, for example a flute made of bear bone! There was also a waterfall coming down via a natural limestone staircase of at least 10 steps, a very romantic sight.

    The Hungarian puszta: 27/10/2002 - 31/10/2002

    South of the Buekk-mountains the famous Hungarian puszta starts. Our travel guide had already warned us that it is quite something else, but not if you are from Holland. True enough, we could have been anywhere in Holland. Everything was as flat as a dime as far as you could see and mainly agricultural land. Not so exciting for a Dutch(wo)man. It got a lot better when we got out of the car and started exploring by foot however. Funny longhaired sheep with two twisted unicorn horns, herds of puszta horses and further away (we were warned not to come too close) bison herds. There should also be pigs with curly poodle furs, but we did not see those unfortunately.
    In the health resort Hajdúszoboszló we lazed around in the thermal bath and chatted with a couple from Flensburg, Germany. If we can believe the brochure, we should now be cured of all our ailments. Completely healthy and ready for Romania we head for the border, where we need our usual five minutes to get through..


    Printable version

      Embassy links   Language  
      Foreign embassies in Holland and Dutch embassies abroad
      Foreign embassies in Germany and German embassies abroad
      Foreign embassies in Britain and British embassies abroad
      Hungarian embassy in Romania RO
      Romanian embassy in Hungary

      General links   Language  
      Go East Travels
      Travels in Eastern Europe
      Tourinform Hungary
      Official Hungary tourism site
      Official Hungary site

    Our top 5:

    1. Budapest

    2. Eger

    3. Hajduszoboszlo

    4. Matra

    5. Szentendre